Skip to main content

09-06-2013 | Urology | Article

Nerve stimulation shows long-term results for overactive bladder


Free abstract

medwireNews: The benefits of percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation (PTNS) for overactive bladder are maintained over the long-term in responsive patients, say the authors of a 3-year study.

"These favorable long-term results also support PTNS as a viable treatment alternative to drug and surgical therapies, particularly considering the high rate of discontinuation of [overactive bladder] drug therapies within the first year due to their considerable side effect profile," write Kenneth Peters (Beaumont Health System, Royal Oak, Michigan, USA) and colleagues.

The study included 50 patients (78% female) with overactive bladder who experienced moderate or marked improvement in global response assessment score following 12 weekly PTNS treatments. The patients then underwent a 14-week tapering phase before being given PTNS treatment according to their reported symptoms, at a median of 1.1 treatments per month.

Among the 29 patients who completed the 36-month study, 28 (97%) had moderate or marked improvement in global response assessment compared with baseline, the authors report in the Journal of Urology.

Furthermore, at every time point during follow up, voiding diary parameters were significantly improved from baseline. The median number of voids per day decreased from 12.0 at baseline to 8.7 at 36 months, as did the number of nighttime voids, at 2.7 vs 1.7.

Patients also experienced fewer moderate or severe urgency episodes, which decreased from a median of 8.5 per day at baseline to 3.5 at 36 months.

Additionally, in patients with urge incontinence, the number of episodes per day fell from a median of 3.7 to just 0.3.

Short-term results of PTNS for overactive bladder have previously been reported from randomized trials, the authors explain. However, they say that this is the first study to confirm long-term benefits of treatment.

They conclude that it "provides important clinical insights into an innovative long-term care option for patients with [overactive bladder] refractory to first line treatments."

medwireNews ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2013

By Kirsty Oswald, medwireNews Reporter